07/28/2006, Düsseldorf

 

 
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Henkel Innovation Supports Development of Race Car

With its numerous fast curves and overtaking opportunities, the Hockenheim circuit makes for a Grand Prix race as unpredictable as they come in Formula One racing. Behind the scenes, Henkel's products and technologies are helping Team McLaren Mercedes bring ever greater predictability and performance to a motorsport driven by constant change.

DÜSSELDORF, Germany - July 28, 2006 - Taking curves at speeds of around 200 km/h, Formula One drivers vie for positions in the heated and fast-changing Mobil 1 German Grand Prix. It is a race that can bring the unexpected at every turn, keeping fans on the edges of their seats. But for the engineers who design Formula One cars, such unpredictability is truly unbearable. They need to know exactly how a car's individual components will hold up under certain high temperatures and what to expect when parts are subjected to immense levels of strain and vibration.


"You can never know what events are going to arise on the track, but for all the factors you can directly influence, you need to achieve the utmost in predictability and reliability," said Martin Whitmarsh, CEO, Formula 1, Team McLaren Mercedes. "The close collaboration and technology transfer with partners such as Henkel help us implement the small modifications on the car that can make the difference on race day."


As an Official Supplier to Team McLaren Mercedes, Henkel works closely with the team in a continual transfer of innovation and insight toward achieving the best possible performance and process efficiency in nearly 200 applications of Henkel products and technologies on the MP4-21. Many of these applications are securing bolted connections with a broad range of Loctite(r) brand adhesives, each with different chemistries and properties to cover a diversity of constraints. Typically, the higher the strength of the threadlocker, the greater is its resistance to withstand extreme forces, such as the heavy shocks, constant vibration and high temperatures to which Formula One car components are subjected. Among various grades of high-, medium and low-strength adhesives, the specific Loctite(r) product to be used for each application is cited in the assembly specifications of the car.



Innovation Drives Quick Change
Such meticulous information may seem minor, but it pays off not only in reliability but also efficiency in assembling a car that undergoes continual component modifications and replacements. For the 2006 season, Team McLaren Mercedes completely redesigned 90 percent of its car's components. And the change does not stop there: during the course of any given race season, engineers may redesign and change out as much as 75 percent of the car's components.


A new development at Henkel is helping the team solve a long-standing assembly challenge: securing components with an adhesive that is strong enough to withstand extreme conditions yet still allows for easy disassembly and re-use of components. Henkel's U.S.-based R&D team created an optimal solution by enhancing the medium-strength threadlocker range with Loctite(r) 246 - a product that exhibits superior resistance to high temperatures despite its medium-grade strength. McLaren Racing engineers are testing the product in applications on removable parts such as the driveshaft, brake-pad abutment screws and suspension. The advantage is that engineers can replace parts easily using standard hand tools during a race weekend or at test sessions - without having to scrap the parts after removal and with the assurance that the replacements will hold fast for the duration of the race.



Formula One Technology Transfer
To decide exactly which Loctite(r) product to use for any particular application, McLaren Racing engineers have relied until now on data sheets listing each product's strength and "cure" (hardening) speed, as referenced on standard materials such as mild steel. Today, McLaren is working with Henkel to gather detailed data on Loctite(r) adhesives in combination with the various materials such as titanium, high-grade stainless steel and carbon fibre used in constructing the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-21. McLaren Racing engineers are generating the test pieces for technicians at Henkel's labs in England to carry out more than 5,000 specific tests to produce new data on a range of Loctite(r) adhesives - information that will soon be available for McLaren Racing as well as for Henkel customers using Loctite(r) adhesives on the same types of exotic materials in fields as diverse as electronics, automotive, aerospace, machine building and medical devices.


"Our engagement with Team McLaren Mercedes allows us to continually prove and refine Henkel products under the extreme conditions of Formula One racing," said Jochen Krautter, Executive Vice President, Henkel Technologies. "It also underlines the way Henkel helps change the way people do things for the better. In addition to supplying innovative and reliable products, Henkel serves as a development partner, offering solutions based on extensive know-how of our customers' businesses, demands and processes."


And at the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix, the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-21 is not the only place where products from Henkel are applied: Loctite(r) 350 is used to seamlessly bond the wings of the Pegasus horse to its Irish crystal sculpted body on Hockenheim's Mobil Pegasus Trophy - provided by ExxonMobil, title sponsor of the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix for the past 15 years.



About McLaren
McLaren Racing, the company behind the Team McLaren Mercedes team, was formed in September 1980 as a result of a merger between Team McLaren and Project Four, a British company owned by Ron Dennis, now Chairman and CEO of the McLaren Group. McLaren has won eleven Formula One Drivers' Championships and eight Formula One Constructors' Championships including the 1998 and 1999 Drivers' World Championship. McLaren has competed in Formula One since 1966 and has proven to be one of the most successful Formula One teams of all time with 148 Grands Prix wins. To date, McLaren has raced in 607 Grands Prix. For more information, go to www.mclaren.com.



Henkel - A Driving Force in the Racing World
Around the world, Henkel has an extensive commitment to motorsports. In 2004, the Henkel logo appeared for the first time on the rear-wing of the Team McLaren Mercedes race cars, thereby continuing the technical association with the team, which began in 1995 through the Loctite brand. As Official Supplier, Henkel provides a wide variety of innovative solutions to the team. Nearly 200 different applications of Henkel products have been incorporated into the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-21 for its challenge in the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship. In North America, Henkel's NASCAR sponsorships include several brands with Roush Racing and driver Carl Edwards. For the three-week, 10,000-kilometer 2006 Dakar Raid through gruelling desert terrain, Henkel provided each racing team with an essential mechanical emergency kit containing a wide range of adhesives, sealants, maintenance products, cleaners and bonding tapes.


Henkel, a Fortune Global 500 company, operates in three strategic business areas: Home Care; Personal care; and Adhesives, Sealants and Surface Treatments, which serves the transportation, electronics, aerospace, metal, durable goods, consumer goods, maintenance and repair and packaging industries, and offers a broad range of products for the craftsman and consumer. With brands and technologies, Henkel makes people's lives easier, better, and more beautiful. More than 50,000 employees work for Henkel worldwide. People in 125 countries around the world trust in brands and technologies from Henkel - "A Brand like a Friend".